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Work From Home Vs Office Setup: Which is Which?

Know the pros and cons of working from home vs working in the office and discover which fits your personality best.

In 2008, a great recession knocked most US companies that prompted them to downsize their office spaces to save money and began to allow their employees to work from home. Later when their economy bounced back, what was conceptualized as a certainty has lingered. It was realized that work from home vs office has a lot of advantages aside from cheaper office rent. Initial studies show that it can increase productivity and aid in the increase of employee satisfaction. There was less distraction from co-workers talking in the office and I had the capacity to concentrate better.

From their artificial offices in living rooms to coffee shops, a surge of remote workers have silently altered the way the world works and lives since then. Many employers had identified the benefits that it can bring to their businesses and how work-life balance had improved for their staff. Work from home vs office opened a new scale of possibilities for the way companies can work and organize themselves. Telecommuting (or working from home) has given employees the flexibility as long as there is a good internet connection at home to collaborate well with their colleagues and superiors.

So what are the contrasts in a work from home vs office organization? Depending on your preferred work style, there are several things to weigh up in order to understand the pros and cons of each. With the outbreak of COVID-19 pandemic, the shift to home working has given employers the adaptability they need to continue their business operations while highlighting the health and well-being of their employees and customers as part of their responsibility. So, let’s take a look at some classic benefits and drawbacks before you make remote work a part of your professional process.

Flexibility in Work from Home vs. Office Setup

When you work in an office set up, there is a schedule to follow: the alarm of your phone goes off at the same time every day then grab a cup of coffee, get a quick shower, take the early morning rush in order to be at your desk at 9 a.m. Now, when it comes to working from home vs. office, there’s a difference. You have the flexibility to wake up when you choose to and modify your day to your needs. With remote work there is the freedom to determine when to start and end your day, where you work from as long as there is an internet connection.

On the other hand, there are employees who struggle to disconnect when working online. In an office environment, it’s easy to shut down your PC when you see your co-workers start packing up for the day at 5 p.m. but when you’re at home, that reminder does not exist. But the option to freelance and the chance to receive gigs is another benefit that comes with work at home vs. office. The time you waste in traveling can be used up in taking side projects which is more profitable than sitting for hours through endless traffic jams.

Work from Home Has Lower Costs

Another contrast in work from home vs office can be seen in the financial aspect. When you commute to work, you have to spend for fares, train tickets or gas for your car but if you work online you don’t have to worry about traveling expenses. In an office set up, you will likely go out with your colleagues to buy lunch at the nearest fast food or have a coffee at Starbucks during the day. When you work remotely, the biggest financial perk you will have is that you will not be tempted to go out after office hours and spend money on eating out or splurge on expensive coffee shops.

Work from home vs. office however has its own costs. In addition to paying for your own broadband expenses, you also need to take into consideration additional electricity bills. You will carry the burden of “start-up” costs for telecommuting innovations like desks, chairs, network routers, laptops…etc. which are usually provided by the company. So in some ways you can save money but there are also types of expenses to consider though.

A top benefit for employers to let their staff work from home vs. office is that it helps them cut down on some essential expenses. Top executives believe that by allowing their employees to work remotely, this has led to a decrease in company operating costs. They no longer need to pay for office rent, electric bills, monthly internet costs and other expenses. Utility payments and other management costs can be reduced as well.

Healthier Work Environment in Work from Home vs Office

The right work environment enables productivity while a wrong one can be damaging to it. In an office set-up, you don’t have a choice when your co-workers are noisy or when the air-conditioner makes someone uncomfortable, you cannot just stand up from your table and turn it off. At a work from home vs. office ambience, you have the option to adjust your work space to your own preferences. With no cubicle wall to define your space, you have the ability to choose your location.

At home, when you have small kids, it can be equally disturbing too when they start yelling. If a neighbor loves blaring music, you can’t do anything about it. These disturbances affect your focus and cause nuisance especially during phone calls or zoom meetings. But the benefit of a work from home vs. office set up is that during video conferences you only show from your waist up, so you can still wear a pair of shorts or pajama bottom down while with a business attire on top. And how about when there are days when you don’t have zoom meetings, then working on your pajamas is completely comfortable then. Very casual Fridays all the time, isn’t it.

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Level of Productivity Can Be Affected

A study shows that in a normal office environment, an employee is interrupted every 10 minutes or sometimes in the middle of a juicy gossip it takes 25 minutes to get back to a task. This is a big blow to one’s productivity. The nature of a work from home vs. office scenario does not make it inviting to babble with co-workers. Productivity can get a big gain with online workers. Let’s take a look at customer service representatives that work from home – they are able to log longer hours than their office-bound counterparts.

While there is increased productivity in a work at home vs. office environment, the advantage of office life is the positive vibe you get from your co-workers. The mood is always vibrant with activity which keeps you motivated to finish through the pile of work. If one is susceptible to dilly-dallying, then she-he has more time to do so at home than when she’s at the office. That said, it is likely a combination of personal preference, self-motivation and self-management.

Work-Life Balance Has Higher Chances in Working from Home

In a work from home vs. office set up, it can help you maintain your work-life balance. This means that you’re no longer restrained to a desk from 9-5 routine then end up working overtime because you were unable to finish your task in between those hours. When you work remotely, you make your own schedule and get your chore done at your own pace. You can take time to do things you’ve wanted to do which you have not done for some time due to time constraints.

work from home vs office - happy woman freelancer on her laptop

Maintaining a sound work-life balance can become beneficial for your health and happiness. A work from home vs. office environment offers you the flexibility you need to be able to balance your job and personal life. However, when you are working in the office, once you’ve punched out, your task is done and it’s either you can socialize with officemates for a while or go home. You can leave your PC at work and not have to worry about getting the detail done later in the night.

When it comes to the pros and cons of work at home vs. office, there’s a lot to consider. Some are more comfortable in the workplace while others are better off working at the confines of their homes. More people have been facing the option for remote work as opposed to staying in the office. If you can get work done without much supervision, home based online work is good for you, but if you long for outside structure, the office is useful.

Before you make a change, try to figure out what makes the best for your work at home vs. office. Remote working might not be effective for everyone. While it can be a smart move for others, working at home can become less social. There is no definite answer as to which is which as long as you do what makes you pleasant. And because COVID-19 is here to stay longer than it should, the debate surrounding the future of jobs as lockdowns, social distancing, face masks and face shields have become a mainstay in our lives.

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